Cheerleading Squad for Taiwan captain Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如) was refused entry to China at the Beijing airport yesterday and forced to return to Taiwan.
Yang arrived at Beijing International Airport at 3:20pm. Instead of going through immigration and customs, however, she was “escorted somewhere for further inquiries,” Yang told news channel ETTV by cellphone yesterday.
Yang, who campaigned for former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) during the presidential race, told ETTV that she was denied entry to China and put immediately on a return flight to Taiwan.
Commenting later during her transit in Hong Kong, Yang told TVBS that Beijing airport police had examined her Taiwan compatriot entry permit and muttered: “There’s a problem.”
The police then took Yang and her companion to a questioning room and looked through her bags, she said.
Yang said the airport police asked her why she was visiting China, to which she responded: “I’ve come to cheer for Taiwan.”
The police asked Yang how many matches she would attend to cheer for Taiwan and she replied “maybe seven or eight games.”
“Why cheer at so many games?” the police responded, Yang said.
After an hour of questioning, Yang said the airport police said “higher-ups” had “ordered” that she and her friend be sent back immediately. They were put on a flight to Hong Kong.
Yang organized the cheerleading squad years ago to support Taiwanese athletes at international competitions. Last year the squad traveled to New York to cheer for New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民).
NO NATIONAL SYMBOLS
The cheerleader squad normally dons yellow uniforms bearing the Taiwanese flag and the English slogan: “Taiwan Woo!”
They also normally wave Taiwanese flags as part of their routine.
But the cheerleading squad had said it would drop the national symbols to cheer for the nation’s athletes in Beijing.
“I won’t bring any flags — including the national flag — and will not bring banners that are too eye-catching either,” Yang told a news conference last week in Taipei. “Chinese laws are unpredictable, no one knows what would happen if you were to break the rules of the Games.”
In related news, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday visited the Athletes’ Village in Beijing to cheer the nation’s delegation and present the members with NT$200,000 in spending money.
Wu was accompanied by KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Legislative Yuan Deputy Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and other top officials.
Speaking about the baseball team’s first game of the Olympics — scheduled for Wednesday against the Netherlands — Wu Poh-hsiung said China-based Taiwanese businessmen had bought most of the tickets, ensuring a “Taiwanese cheerleading squad.”
If you factor in the support of Chinese spectators for Taiwan’s team, it will virtually have a “home field advantage,” he said.
When approached for comment on Wu Poh-hsiung’s visit to the Olympic Games, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in Taipei yesterday that as the leader of Taiwan’s governing party, Wu Poh-hsiung should exercise caution, lest he give the impression that “Taiwan is part of China.”
Tsai said Wu’s remark about a “home field advantage” was regrettable and disappointing. Such a remark undermines the nation’s status as a sovereign state, she said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,